Monthly Archives: April 2018

The Book of Answers: an Ateban Cipher novel (Book #2) – A. L. Tait

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answers

Hachette

Mar 27, 2018 | 9780734417695 | Rrp $14.99

The intrepid outlaw girls and boys are back in the next exciting instalment of the Ateban Cipher – Gwyn, Merry, Scarlett along with Gabe and now Eddie (aka Prince Edward) are on a quest to deliver the Book of Secrets to the rightful recipient.  When Gabe first took charge of the mysterious book he knew nothing about it except that it was dangerous in more ways than one. Now with the help of his new comrades some progress has been made and the group are on their way to the isolated Hayden’s Mont and Lord Lucien where they hope to rid themselves of the book (and their deadly pursuers) and be able to get on with other business.  But more than answers about the book are in store at Hayden’s Mont – Gabe receives a shock regarding his birth origins, they are all in a quandary about what to do next when Lucien says he cannot take charge of the book and Eddie still needs to reach his father the King with the proof of his identity – not to mention Gwyn’s determination to save her own father from his unjust and false imprisonment.  While some threads appear to be tied up, others are just unravelling – what is in store next time for this brave band?

This is the kind of thrilling adventure that has readers turning the pages as fast as they can devour the story along the way discerning many important themes about trust, loyalty, ingenuity and courage.

A .L. Tait’s knack for creating these gripping and often tense exploits has been well demonstrated in her Mapmaker Chronicles series (as a reader said to me in the last week of school – “I just LOVE this series – it keeps you on the edge of your seat!”) and now continues the success with this new series.

Hear A. L. Tait talk about the inspiration for this new series here.

Highly recommended for Upper Primary/Lower Secondary readers both boys and girls.

Flamingo Boy – Michael Morpurgo

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flamingoboy

Harper Collins Australia

ISBN: 9780008134648

ISBN 10: 0008134642

Imprint: HarperCollins – GB

On Sale: 26/02/2018

RRP $19.99

With his expected flair Michael Morpurgo takes some history and transforms it into a fascinating and poignant narrative blending modern day and World War II.

Young Vincent is about to take his final exams and is finding it difficult to focus and be motivated. In an effort to do so he promises himself he will visit the location of his favourite picture given to him by his grandparents. It is one of another Vincent’s works – boats on a beach in the Camargue, in the south of France. Duly with exams behind him Vincent takes himself camping but becomes seriously ill. Taken in by a kindly though odd older couple from a farm he recuperates slowly and is the audience for their combined story. Autistic Lorenzo and Romany Kezia first became friends at age eight when Kezia’s parents set up their carousel in the marketplace of Aigues-Mortes. There the two met; the boy who could not communicate well and the girl despised as a filthy gypsy – neither of them fitting the ‘normal’ social mode.

When the war came to Vichy France and the Nazis swarmed there was danger for both of them so Lorenzo’s family farm became a refuge for both. War breaks many things as does nature and when the carousel, the last remnant of joyful times, in the little marketsquare is destroyed, life seems very bleak indeed. But dark times bring out the good in many – families, communities and even some soldiers. A kind sergeant with a knack for carpentry becomes an unlikely ally as the children and the families heal.

Morpurgo’s beautiful descriptive writing and the almost lyrical nature of his narratives do not fail readers yet and this is another of his novels destined to become a classic read.  Rather than focusing on the evils of the war he chooses to highlight the humanity and hope that prevails in difficult circumstances.

Highly recommended for readers from around eight years upwards.

A Garden of Lilies: Improving Tales for Young Minds (From the World of Stella Montgomery) – Prudence a. Goodchild

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lilies

Harper Collins Australia

  • ISBN:9780733338229
  • ISBN 10: 0733338224
  • Imprint: ABC Books – AU
  • On Sale: 14/11/2017

 

Children,listen and take heed,
As this little book you read.
All your evil ways amend,
Or you will meet a dreadful end.

 

For lovers of Stella Montgomery and her two highly successful narratives to date, comes a delightful little book which will give readers many giggles and perhaps even some possibly useful tips on everyday life. I’m not entirely sure how many readers will have a need to know the ins and outs of Victorian cutlery service nor semaphore (though we still taught it to Brownies when I was a leader!) but it is a great fun read.

It is also beautifully presented – a gorgeous little hardback with gilt lettering and a ribbon place marker to add to the authenticity of it’s supposed era. The marbled endpapers add even more effect to this.

Throughout there are some short moral stories to educate young minds but it is arguably the ‘useful tips’ that are the most amusing.

Growing a giant marrow, the language of flowers and improvising a compass are just some of these.

An astute reader from around ten years upwards with a good sense of humour will find this delightful!